China grants landmark licence to Aberdeen Asset Management
Aberdeen Asset Management has become the first British fund manager to gain a business licence to operate in mainland China.
The business licence – issued to a newly-created Aberdeen subsidiary – will enable the company to set up an office in China under the pilot free trade zone.
The landmark licence comes just weeks after the decline in China's stock markets led to the FTSE 100 suffering its worst one-day fall since September 2011.
Martin Gilbert CA, CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: "UK business cannot ignore the structural development of China. It is already the second largest economy in the world and will sooner or later surpass the US.
"The work undertaken to obtain a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise licence is part of our overall strategy to ensure Aberdeen Asset Management is well placed for the next 10 to 20 years."
The announcement was made during a week-long tour of China by UK ministers and leading UK businesses, led by Chancellor George Osborne.
China has agreed to allow "qualified, locally-incorporated wholly foreign-owned or joint-venture private fund management institutions to engage in private security management businesses". This includes secondary market trading of securities.
Secretary of State for Business, Sajid Javid, said: "As we deepen UK-China relations it is rewarding to see Aberdeen Asset Management licensed to operate in China. The company will bring fund management expertise from the UK to the second largest economy in the world."